Bombard, ridden by Flavien Prat, scored a front-running victory in the Daytona Stakes
Quick from the gate and head and head to deep stretch with speedy Law Abidin Citizen, heavily favored Bombard simply wouldn’t be denied in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Daytona Stakes at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif., as he prevailed by 1 ¼ lengths under Flavien Prat. Trained by Richard Mandella, the 8-year-old gelding by War Front got 6 ½ furlongs on turf in 1:14.47.
Most recently second in a tough classified allowance going six furlongs on turf at Santa Anita on April 25 and only beaten 3 ¼ lengths two starts back in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, Bombard added blinkers for the first time in this his 18th career start and notched his first-ever graded stakes victory at a point in life where most of his classmates have been retired.
“He’s as good as he’s ever been, for sure,” said Mandella. “I don’t race him much, he’s got a few problems that we have to take care of, but he comes back and he pays us back. We’ll keep doing that as long as he’s having a good time and so are we.”
Off as the 3-5 favorite in a field of five older horses, Bombard paid $3.40, $2.80 and $2.10.
“He broke really well and put himself in the race,” said Prat, who has now ridden by Bombard to a total of five victories. “I don’t think the blinkers had anything to do with his race. I love to win.”
Owned by Perry Bass II, Ramona Bass, Adele Dilschneider and Waddell Hancock II, Bombard, who is out of the Distorted Humor mare Witty, was making his second start of the year and is now 18-6-6-2. With the winner’s share of $60,000, he increased his earnings to $459,771.
Idle since Aug. 29, Law Abidin Citizen finally threw in the towel a sixteenth out, enabling others to secure the minor placings.
Last for nearly the entire trip, Majestic Eagle unfurled a good stretch run to take second by a head over French-bred Commander. Ridden by Mario Gutierrez, Majestic Eagle was off at 9-1 and paid $6.00 and $2.80.
Commander, who sat third most of the trip, finished third by a length and quarter and paid $2.80 to show while off at 6-1 with Juan Hernandez.
Law Abidin Citizen, a multiple graded stakes winner, was ridden by Abel Cedillo and held fourth by a nose over Jamming Eddy.
Fractions on the race were 21.63, 44.17 and 1:08.13.
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